Metro Weekly

Out On the Town: D.C. arts and entertainment highlights — May 16-22

Everything arts and entertainment in the D.C. area this week!

Working Woman



The AFI Silver Theatre presents a special anniversary screening of filmmakers Joe Tropea and Skizz Cyzyk’s 2013 documentary profiling the Catonsville Nine, a ragtag group whose activism helped fan the flames of protests against the Vietnam War. On May 17, 1968, in the Baltimore suburb of Catonsville, these nine Catholic activists entered a Selective Service office, dragged stacks of Draft Board records out into the parking lot and set them ablaze with homemade napalm. The wave of similar protests they sparked helped move nonviolent antiwar resistance away from protest marches and toward direct action by ordinary citizens — and tapped into the increasingly anti-war zeitgeist. The filmmakers will be in attendance at a special screening at the AFI Silver Theatre along with special guest Les Bayless of the Silver Spring 3. Wednesday, May 22, at 7:15 p.m. 8633 Colesville Road, Silver Spring. Tickets are $13 general admission. Call 301-495-6720 or visit


The way to her heart is via celluloid — at least in this silent Hollywood classic starring Buster Keaton as a photographer who tries his hand at making motion pictures in an attempt to woo a secretary for the newsreel department at MGM. Edward Sedgwick’s 1928 black-and-white romantic drama is next up in the popular Capital Classics series at Landmark’s West End Cinema. Wednesday, May 22, at 1:30, 4:30, and 7:30 p.m. 2301 M St. NW. Happy hour from 4 to 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $12.50. Call 202-534-1907 or visit


A wife and mother of three young children returns to the workplace to make ends meet, only to struggle with escalating levels of sexual harassment from her boss in this powerful and timely tale from the feminist Israeli filmmaker Michal Aviad. Liron Ben Shlush stars as Orna, with Menashe Noy her harassing superior. Opens Friday, May 17. Landmark’s E Street Cinema, 555 11th St. NW. Call 202-452-7672 or visit

God of Carnage — Photo: Cameron Whitman



The edgy, innovative, and immersive local company Rorschach Theatre presents Reina Hardy’s play about finding one’s place in the universe and intelligent life in the neighborhood. Specifically, the play focuses on a small-town teen and science genius confronted by a popular girl at school who might be the disguise of an intergalactic supercomputer tasked with bringing humanity to the stars. Medha Marsten directs a cast including Zach Brewster-Geisz, Vanessa Chapoy, Robin Covington, Aron Spellane, and Emily Whitworth. To May 19. Lab Theatre II in the Atlas Performing Arts Center, 1333 H St. NE. Tickets are $19.99 to $29.99. Call 202-399-7993 or visit


A playground altercation between two boys brings together two sets of upper-middle-class Brooklyn parents for a meeting to resolve the matter in Yasmina Reza’s Tony-winning play, a shrewd and vicious comedy. Shirley Serotsky directs the Keegan Theatre production starring the company’s artistic director Susan Rhea, Lolita Clayton, Vishwas, and DeJeanette Horne. To May 25. 1742 Church St. NW. Call 202-265-3767 or visit


Eric Schaeffer directs one of his favorite musicals, a multiple Tony-winning work from 1989 with a book by Luther Davis and music and lyrics by Robert Wright, George Forrest, and Maury Yeston. Based on the 1929 novel by Vicki Baum that also spawned two World War II-era movies, Grand Hotel The Musical is set in a lavish hotel in Weimar Republic Berlin — and staged in such a way at Signature Theatre that audiences will feel like they are sitting in the hotel’s lobby. A fading ballerina, a destitute baron, a wannabe starlet, and an ailing bookkeeper are just a handful of the many characters who come and go in the show, with Signature stars Bobby Smith and Natascia Diaz leading a large cast also featuring other Signature veterans including Nicki Elledge, Kevin McAllister, Crystal Mosser, and Lawrence Redmond. Jon Kalbfleisch leads the orchestra while Kelly Crandall D’Amboise helms the choreography. To May 19. Max Theatre, 4200 Campbell Ave., Arlington. Call 703-820-9771 or visit


Somebody’s hauled a fabulous eight-piece orchestra into the enchanted forest of Ford’s Theatre’s production of Into the Woods, and the brilliant, Tony-winning score, conducted by music director William Yanesh, sounds great. The mostly sharp delivery of director Peter Flynn’s talented cast can keep the listener hanging on every word of Stephen Sondheim’s winding lines. Ford’s production beautifully conveys the weight and lightness of Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s journey into the woods, where characters forced to coerce, deceive, or steal from strangers can find whatever they believe might bring them happiness. To May 22. 511 10th St. NW. Tickets are $20 to $83. Call 888-616-0270 or visit (André Hereford)


Arena Stage presents a world-premiere a cappella-infused play written and directed by Tazewell Thompson and featuring spirituals including “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot” and “Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve Seen.” Dianne Adams McDowell serves as music director and vocal arranger for this chronicle of the world-renowned Fisk Jubilee Singers, an African-American troupe who shattered racial barriers as they captivated royalty and commoners alike while travelling the globe. The 13-person cast includes Shaleah Adkisson, Joy Jones, Zonya Love, Sean-Maurice Lynch, and Jaysen Wright. To June 2. Kreeger Theater in the Mead Center for American Theater, 1101 6th St. SW. Tickets are $41 to $95. Call 202-488-3300 or visit


Shakespeare’s spry romantic comedy full of lovers and clowns, foolery and the follies of the heart closes out the season at the Folger Theatre in a production directed by Vivienne Benesch and designed by Lee Savage. Set at the time of the 1932 opening of the Folger Shakespeare Library — and pegged to the Folger’s current exhibition about the library’s founding, A Monument to Shakespeare (see separate entry under Art & Exhibits) — the production features a cast of 15 led by Amelia Pedlow from CBS’s The Good Wife as the Princess of France, Kelsey Rainwater as her witty companion Rosaline, Joshua David Robinson as the King of Navarre, and Zachary Fine as Berowne. To June 9. 201 East Capitol St. SE. Tickets are $42 to $85. Call 202-544-7077 or visit


Jason Loewith directs an Olney Theatre Center production of Friedrich Schiller’s bracing, 19th Century Shakespearean political drama about one of England’s most storied rivalries, that between Mary, Queen of Scots, and Queen Elizabeth I. Catholic Mary is a threat to Protestant Queen Elizabeth’s reign, but her murder isn’t a clear or easy way to eliminate the threat — especially considering the fact that the two are cousins. In previews. To June 9. Theatre Lab, 2001 Olney-Sandy Spring Road, Olney, Md. Call 301-924-3400 or visit


In 1993, a husband-and-wife Norwegian duo assemble a motley band of would-be diplomats from the Middle East to attempt the unimaginable: negotiate peace between Israelis and Palestinians. Round House Theatre’s Ryan Rilette directs J. T. Rogers’ thrilling nail-biter, based on the true events surrounding the Oslo Peace Accords, with John Austin and Susannah Morgan Eig leading a strong 15-member cast featuring a number of local stage heavyweights, including Maboud Ebrahimzadeh, Kimberly Gilbert, Alexander Strain, and Erin Weaver. The production is presented at the Shakespeare Theatre Company’s Lansburgh Theatre downtown while Round House renovates its Bethesda venue, with its box office transplanted as well. To May 19. 450 7th St. NW. Call 240-644-1100 or visit


Single Carrot Theatre, Baltimore’s adventurous, innovative, experiental professional company, offers another production of significant queer relevance, a play centered on the life of Alan Turing. Despite his achievements, the renowned codebreaker and father of the modern computer was persecuted for committing homosexual acts in his native U.K. in the decade after World War II, and sadly a decade before decriminalization could have helped avoid a tragic fate. In Pink Milk, Ariel Zetina, a Chicago-based Latinx trans female playwright and composer/DJ, weaves together electrifying music and surreal text to create a rich, strange fantasy about a genius who longed for connection in a world he couldn’t understand. Mohammad R. Suaidi leads a seven-person cast bringing to life a deeply human story of love, loss, creation, and destruction directed by queer theater artist Ben Kleymeyer. To May 19. 2600 N Howard St. Tickets are $25 to $29. Call 443-844-9253 or visit


Synetic Theater offers its 14th “wordless Shakespeare” production, an athletic, futuristic, cyberpunk adaptation of King Richard III’s Machiavellian rise to power, highlighting the terrifying extremes made possible through the abuse of modern technology. Synetic’s Paata Tsikurishvili directs Alex Mills in the title role, with Irina Tsikurishvili portraying Queen Elizabeth. The cast also includes Matt Stover, Maryam Najafzada, Thomas Beheler, Philip Fletcher, Jordan Clark Halsey, Aaron Kan, Tim Proudkii, Nutsa Tediashvili, Ana Tsikurishvili, and Scean Aaron. In previews. Opens Saturday, May 18. To June 16. 1800 South Bell St., Arlington. Call 800-811-4111 or visit

Spunk — Photo: Christopher Mueller


An unearthly Guitar Man and Blues Speak Woman interweave three tales based on short stories by the Harlem Renaissance writer Zora Neale Hurston and adapted by Jelly’s Last Jam‘s George C. Wolfe. The Signature Theatre production is directed by Timothy Douglas and stars Jonathan Mosley-Perry and Iyona Blake, with Drew Drake, Marty Lamar, Ines Nassara, and KenYatta Rogers. Mark G. Meadows (Ain’t Misbehavin’) serves as musical director for the show, which is infused with live blues music composed by Chic Street Man. To June 23. The Ark, 4200 Campbell Ave., Arlington. Call 703-820-9771 or visit


Rep Stage closes out its 26th season with a production of Patrick Barlow’s Tony-winning spoof of Hitchcock’s 1935 classic thriller. A joy for anyone who loves the magic of theater, from virtuoso performances to inventive stagecraft, The 39 Steps features a cast of four portraying a multitude of characters in a madcap evening. Joseph W. Ritsch directs Robbie Gay as a man racing to solve a mystery and clear his name, aided and abetted by Kathryn Tkel, Michael Wood, and Noah Israel. To May 19. The Horowitz Center’s Studio Theatre at Howard Community College, 10901 Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia, Md. Tickets are $15 to $40. Call 443-518-1500 or visit


David Muse directs Lucy Kirkwood’s taut and disquieting thriller, a hit in London and New York, about responsibility and reparation, and what one generation owes the next. Jeanne Paulsen and Richard Howard play a married pair of retired nuclear physicists whose peaceful existence in a remote cottage on the British coast is upended by a former colleague, played by Naomi Jacobson, who offers a proposal that threatens more than their marriage. To June 2. Studio Theatre, 1501 14th St. NW. Call 202-332-3300 or visit


Shakespeare Theatre Company’s longtime artistic director Michael Kahn goes out with a big Greek bang as he directs a world-premiere interpretation of Aeschylus’ potent trilogy of epic Greek tragedies. Commissioned by the company and three years in the making, Ellen McLaughlin’s The Oresteia weaves together Aeschylus’ stories with stunning poetry. The production features Kelley Curran, Simone Warren, Kelcey Watson, Josiah Bania, Zoë Sophia Garcia, and Rad Pereira, plus an eight-person Chorus. To June 2. Sidney Harman Hall, 610 F St. NW. Call 202-547-1122 or visit


In Mary Zimmerman’s adaptation of the ancient Chinese legend, a snake spirit transforms itself into a woman in order to experience the human world, and in the process falls in love with a pharmacist’s assistant. Allison Arkell Stockman directs a production from her company Constellation Theatre that features live original music from multi-instrumentalist Tom Teasley and dulcimer virtuoso Chao Tian, plus a signature bold acting ensemble led by Eunice Bae, Momo Nakamura, and Jacob Yeh. To May 26. Source Theatre, 1835 14th St. NW. Tickets are $19 to $45. Call 202-204-7741 or visit

P.S. Your Cat Is Dead at Dominion Stage



John Nunemaker directs a community stage production at Kensington Arts Theatre of Lionel Bart’s nearly 60-year-old take on Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist, a kind of imaginative, childlike fantasy of what it might be like to live in the netherworld. Paul Rossen serves as music director. Weekends to May 26. 3710 Mitchell St., Kensington, Md. Tickets are $19 to $27. Call 206-888-6642 or visit


James Kirkwood, Jr.’s play was one of the first stage works to address gay themes. But it was also a flop in its original Broadway incarnation, and far overshadowed by its gay writer’s contribution to another, superior 1975 production that also tackled gay themes — the musical A Chorus Line. Virginia community theater company Dominion Stage revives the play about a man who catches a burglar in the act and proceeds to hold him hostage over a long New Year’s Eve. Weekends to May 18. Gunston Theatre Two, 2700 South Lang St. Arlington. Tickets are $20. Call 571-DS-SHOWS or visit


Will Jarred directs a production from the community-oriented Little Theatre of Alexandria of Evan Smith’s theological comedy with a twist. The Savannah Disputation is a witty tale about the crisis of faith an odd-couple pair of sisters face courtesy of a young door-to-door evangelist. To May 18. 600 Wolfe St., Alexandria. Tickets are $21 to $24. Call 703-683-0496 or visit


The Theatre Lab School of the Dramatic Arts presents final project presentations by its 2019 honors acting students. The performances are at the school’s Woodward Hall, a block north of the Old Patent Office Building. The conservatory is a professional training program with courses taught by some of Washington’s leading theater professionals. The Spring Showcase features monologues, scenes, and movement pieces and features George K. Aaron, Marshall Hackett, Erica Irving, Randall Kish, Hannah MacIntyre, Sulmane Maigadi, Rachel Manu, Gabrielle Nutter, Chuck O’Toole, and Ania Osinski. is Monday, May 20, at 7:30 p.m. 733 8th St. NW. Free. Call 202-824-0449 or visit




Josephine Forsman of the band Sahara Hotnights and Nathan Arling of Urge Overkill formed this modernized ABBA tribute act in 2017. Swedish singer Diana Ebe, U.K. singer Alison Garner, Chicago artist Evan Hand, and Swedish guitar player Adam Skeppar are the stars of the show, which aims, according to Garner, “to take the sound of ABBA into the new generation, adding a big electronic dance vibe to the already ultimate pop song along with visual art, fashion, and the style of ABBA.” To that end, they enlisted sound producer Greg Collins (U2, No Doubt) and art and video projection designer KII Arens (Lady Gaga, Katy Perry). Thursday, May 16. Doors at 6:30 p.m. The Hamilton, 600 14th St. NW. Tickets are $15 to $25. Call 202-787-1000 or visit


A D.C. native and Howard University alum, the young jazz vocalist and composer blends traditional, modern, and African jazz styles while singing in the showy manner of many of today’s leading soul/pop divas. Allrich is especially well-regarded for covering Nina Simone, though the focus of her next engagement at Blues Alley, titled “This Mother’s Daughter,” is a tribute to Wilson, the jazz vocal icon who died last December at the age of 81. Sunday, May 26, at 8 and 10 p.m. Blues Alley, 1073 Wisconsin Ave. NW. Tickets are $25, plus $6 fee and $12 minimum purchase. Call 202-337-4141 or visit


Founding Music Director Luke Frazier closes out the APO season with the tribute show “I Am What I Am: The Music of Jerry Herman,” full of classic tunes from the musical theater legend’s musicals, from Hello, Dolly! to La Cage aux Folles to Mack and Mabel. The show, to be performed in the round at Arena Stage, features celebrity guests including Kathy Najimy from Sister Act, Paige Davis, aka the perky host from Trading Spaces, Mauricio Martinez from the Gloria Estefan-themed musical On Your Feet!, Alexis Michelle of RuPaul’s Drag Race, local stage powerhouse Tracy Lynn Olivera, and Paul Roeckell, the APO NextGen award winner. Further reinforcement comes from select members of the Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington and the Congressional Chorus, plus three accompanying pianists: Karen Walwyn, Scott Beard, and Chris Urquiaga. Saturday, May 18, at 8 p.m. Fichandler Stage in the Mead Center for American Theater, 1101 6th St. SW. Tickets are $35 to $75. Call 202-488-3300 or visit


The BSO Concertmaster Jonathan Carney takes center stage as the featured soloist performing a beloved Brahms masterwork, featuring some of the most beautiful melodies in classical music. Led by Peter Oundjian, this BSO program also includes Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 11, perhaps the most poignant and powerful of the Russian’s 15 symphonies. Saturday, May 18, at 8 p.m. Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda. Also Sunday, May 19, at 3 p.m. Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, 1212 Cathedral St., Baltimore. Tickets are $10 to $90. Call 410-783-8000 or visit


A blistering punk Brooklyn-based duo of lead vocalist/guitarist Naomi and drummer/backup vocalist Krystal, Basic Bitches performs a D.C. concert as part of the newlyweds’ May Honeymoon Tour. The tour is in support of the new EP Relatable Content, with catchy songs taking on everything from patriarchal office politics to harassment to social anxiety — the latter courtesy of the amusing “Cat At The Party.” Friday, May 17, at 8 p.m. Slash Run, 201 Upshur St. NW. Tickets are $10. Call 202-838-9929 or visit


Steven Fox wraps his premiere season as music director of this Washington National Cathedral organization by conducting Dona Nobis Pacem, a call for peace and reconciliation written by Vaughan Williams in response to his own personal anguish after having served in World War I. Also on the bill is Francis Poulenc’s joyful, radiant Gloria, which melds the sacred and profane in the composer’s signature style. The soprano Lauren Snouffer and baritone Jesse Blumberg are featured soloists. Sunday, May 19, at 4 p.m. Massachusetts and Wisconsin Avenues NW. Tickets are $47 to $81.50. Call 202-537-2228 or visit


The Master Russian pianist offers an intimate solo recital, presented by Washington Performing Arts, performing three Chopin Nocturnes, selections from Debussy’s Preludes, Book I, Scriabin’s Sonata No. 4, and Schumann’s Piano Sonata No. 3. Tuesday, May 21, 2019, 8 p.m. Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda. Tickets are $105 to $130. Call 301-581-5100 or visit


In 2014, this folk-rock female singer-songwriter from Massachusetts debuted her one-woman musical My Mother Has Four Noses Off Broadway. Brooke has also co-written songs with Katy Perry as well as for four Disney films. And 20 years after she started her own independent label Bad Dog Records, Brooke is still writing and performing her own original tunes. She returns to the area for an Album Release Show celebrating her new EP Imposter. Sunday, May 19. Doors at 5:30 p.m. City Winery DC, 1350 Okie St. NE. Tickets are $25 to $35. Call 202-250-2531 or visit


The queer Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter Aly Spaltro, who records as Lady Lamb, is currently on the Deep Love Tour in support of her new album Even in the Tremor. “The whole idea of this new album is the push and pull between calmness and chaos, joy and anxiety, self-loathing and self-love,” Spaltro says. She’ll be joined in concert by guitarist/pianist Alex Schaaf (Tallest Man on Earth), bassist/pianist Benjamin Lazar Davis (Okkervil River) — who also collaborated on the new album — and drummer Marian Li Pino (La Luz). Wednesday, May 22. Doors at 7 p.m. Rock and Roll Hotel, 1353 H St. NE. Tickets are $18. Call 202-388-ROCK or visit


“[Many] people who are creating music now were so determined to break the mold and re-define the standards of what beauty is and what normal is and what deserves to be seen,” Lizzo told Metro Weekly in 2017. “All of us — the brown girls, big people, LGBTQ+. Anyone who has felt like their voice has been marginalized and underrepresented, we fought to be in the position that we’re in now. And the industry is starting to catch up.” Two years later, the industry and the broader public has certainly caught up to Lizzo, born Melissa Jefferson in Detroit and raised in Houston. Known for self-affirming, empowering, and celebratory lyrics and rousing uptempo music blending pop, R&B, house, rock, and hip-hop — plus a few comedic antics for extra umph — Lizzo long ago sold out both her shows at the 9:30 Club, and then last month she sold out in record time not one but two shows set for The Anthem in September. Blame it on the “Juice,” her runaway blockbuster hit from her new album Cuz I Love You. Tayla Parx opens. Sunday, May 19, and Monday, May 20. Doors at 7 p.m. 815 V St. NW. Tickets are officially sold out, although resale sites, including and, have a few tickets available if you’re willing to shell out a minimum of $277 — which is more than 10 times the original price. Call 202-265-0930 or visit


Excerpts from Il TrovatoreLa Traviata, and Rigoletto — three of Verdi’s most celebrated operas — will be performed by featured vocalists Javier Arrey, Nayoung Ban, Marco Cammarota, Yongxi Chen, Daryl Freedman, and Raquel Gonzalez. They’ll be accompanied by the 50-member MDLO Orchestra under the direction of Louis Salmeno. Saturday, May 18, at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, May 19, at 2 p.m. Kay Theatre in the Clarice at the University of Maryland, University Boulevard and Stadium Drive. College Park. Tickets are $25 to $60. Call 301-405-ARTS or visit


Vocal soloists join the NSO to perform Rossini’s dramatic Stabat Mater as part of a remarkable Italian-themed program also including Liszt’s Dante Symphony — an innovative masterpiece inspired by the great Italian poet’s Divine Comedy. The symphony’s Italian music director Gianandrea Noseda leads the concert featuring soprano Erika Grimaldi, mezzo-soprano Chiara Amarù, tenor Michele Angelini, and bass-baritone Marko Mimica, plus the University of Maryland Concert Choir. Thursday, May 16, at 7 p.m., and Friday, May 17, at 8 p.m. Kennedy Center Concert Hall. Tickets are $15 to $89. Call 202-467-4600 or visit


Now in its 30th year, this concert on the U.S. Capitol grounds, airing live on PBS, features the National Symphony Orchestra led by Jack Everly performing patriotic classics. Joe Mantegna (Criminal Minds) and Gary Sinise (CSI: New York) co-host for the 14th year, and Colin Powell also returns for a special tribute to our men and women in uniform. Other featured performers this year include Sam Elliott — performing in tribute to the 7th Anniversary of the D-Day Invasion — Patti LaBelle, Alison Krauss, Christopher Jackson, Dennis Haysbert, Justin Moore, and Gavin DeGraw. Sunday, May 26, at 8 p.m. U.S. Capitol Building, West Lawn. Free. Call 202-467-4600 or visit


Out frontman Michael Angelakos leads his electro-pop band in a 10th Anniversary concert marking the release of its breakthrough album Manners. The Beaches open. Saturday, May 25. Doors at 6:30 p.m. The Anthem, 901 Wharf St. SW. Tickets are $40 to $75. Call 202-888-0020 or visit


First held in Takoma Park and Adams Morgan, the annual Porchfest moved to Southeast last year and is slated this year to become “the largest free outdoor music festival held east of the Anacostia River in D.C.” The 2019 Porchfest, offering a day of mini-concerts held on front porches and lawns, will be held in Hillcrest as a way to toast the 30th anniversary of that community. Organizers of the all-volunteer event anticipate more than 50 poets, singers, bands, DJs, and other artists participating this year, representing a variety of genres. There will also be roughly a dozen vendors and exhibitors on hand, including Candles by Tiera, Fearless Threads, Sparkle by Phaedra, Designs4U jewelry, Mexican food provider Fast & Saucy, and the Mayor’s Office on African American Affairs. Sunday, May 19, from 12 to 6 p.m. The kickoff is outside the Francis Gregory Library, 3660 Alabama Ave. SE. Visit


Artistic director and conductor Scott Tucker leads the chorus and 67-person orchestra through transcendent and rarely heard compositions and follows the musical lineage of four composers whose lives were linked during the early 20th Century: Gabriel Fauré, Camille Saint-Saëns, Florent Schmitt, and Lili Boulanger. The program features Fauré’s Requiem, the Fauré-influenced Psalm settings by Schmitt and Boulanger, and Saint-Saëns’ Sarabande Op. 93. In addition to a dedication to the Notre Dame Cathedral, the program offers solos for sopranos Laura Choi Stuart and Alexandria Shiner as well as acclaimed baritone Trevor Scheunemann. Sunday, May 19, at 5 p.m. Kennedy Center Concert Hall. Tickets are $15 to $69. Call 202-467-4600 or visit


The godfather of go-go may have died in 2012, but his namesake band with its signature D.C. sound keeps go-going. The jazz festival staple and powerhouse ensemble of danceable funk and soul grooves next performs at the Hamilton in a concert featuring an opening set from the Let It Flow Band, another homegrown go-go band. Sunday, May 26. Doors at 6:30 p.m. The Hamilton, 600 14th St. NW. Tickets are $24.75 to $29.75. Call 202-787-1000 or visit


Artistic director Robert Shafer concludes the chorus’ 12th season with one of the most popular choral works ever written, Mozart’s immortal Requiem. The program also includes the baroque influences that shaped the masterpiece, including (excerpts from) Handel’s Messiah, Gabrieli’s Viva la musica, and Schütz’s Magnificat (Uppsala) — the latter a rarely heard piece for three choirs and orchestra. Soprano Crossley Danielle Hawn, mezzo-soprano Kristen Dubenion-Smith, tenor Norman Shankle, and bass Kerry Wilkerson are featured soloists. Sunday, May 19, at 5 p.m. National Presbyterian Church, 4101 Nebraska Ave. NW. Tickets are $15 to $59. Call 202-429-2121 or visit


Acclaimed local contemporary opera company UrbanArias presents another installment in its novel gimmicky series adapted from the world of comedy in which professional opera singers perform mini-operas they create on the spot per audience suggestions, assisted by a professional pianist. The cast includes Melissa Wimbish, Britt Olsen-Ecker, Ian McEuen, Jeffrey Gates, accompanied by Tim McReynolds and UrbanArias founder Robert Wood. Sunday, May 19, at 6:30 p.m. Busboys & Poets, 4251 South Campbell Ave. in Arlington. Tickets are $15. Call 703-379-9757 or visit


Ethan McSweeny directs a production of Giacomo Puccini’s striking, suspenseful drama, a sumptuous tale of ill-fated love that amazes and captivates new and longtime opera lovers alike. Keri Alkema takes on the title role opposite Riccardo Massi as her rebellious lover Cavaradossi (except for the Sunday matinees on May 12 and May 19, when Latonia Moore and Robert Watson substitute) in a WNO production of the work set in 18th century Rome and featuring elegant sets depicting grand Roman scenes provided by Seattle Opera. Speranza Scappucci serves as conductor. The 2nd Annual Pride Night Out, a performance in partnership with Capital Pride, is Wednesday, May 22, at 7:30 p.m., with an exclusive post-performance reception at the Kingbird bar at the Watergate Hotel. To May 25. Kennedy Center Opera House. Tickets are $35 to $300. Call 202-467-4600 or visit


Cheekily named after O.J. Simpson’s notorious failed getaway car, people just can’t seem to get enough of this local ’90s-era party band. Playing through that decade’s songbook in all styles of popular music is a five-member ensemble consisting of singer/guitarist Diego Valencia, singer Gretchen Gustafson, guitarists Ken Sigmund and McNasty, and drummer Max Shapiro. Local DJ Mathias opens, naturally enough, with an ‘all ’90s set.” Friday, May 17, and Saturday, May 18. Doors at 10:30 p.m. U Street Music Hall, 1115A U St. NW. Tickets are $22 to $25. Call 202-588-1880 or visit


A “lively night of comic chaos” — that is, works from beloved operatic comedies — is on the bill when aspiring opera stars from the Washington National Opera’s Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program take the stage at the Kennedy Center. The WNO Orchestra will accompany the singers as they perform the complete first act and closing fugue of Giuseppe Verdi’s final masterpiece Falstaff, among other comic gems. Friday, May 24, at 7:30 p.m. Kennedy Center Opera House. Tickets are $15 to $35. Call 202-467-4600 or visit

Dance Place’s new releases: Choreographer’s Showcase — Jamal Abrams



Lucy Bowen McCauley’s celebrated local contemporary dance company returns to the Kennedy Center for a mixed program including a world premiere from McCauley set to Igor Stravinsky’s “Suite Italienne” from Pulcinella, played live by Arlington’s National Chamber Ensemble. The bill also includes: At the Seams, a new duet danced by Choreographer-in-Residence Ilana Goldman and Washington Ballet’s Sona Kharatian and performed to live music from composers/musicians Logan Castro on cello and Daniel Smith on piano; Lissajous, McCauley’s dance commissioned by Drexel University with musical accompaniment by composer Dr. Jordan Alexander Key; and the return of McCauley’s Du Vent et des Vagues, set to Franz Liszt’s Années de Pèlerinage performed by pianist Nikola Paskalov. Friday, May 17, and Saturday, May 18, at 7:30 p.m. Terrace Theater. Tickets are $40 to $50. Call 202-467-4600 or visit


Dance Place’s annually curated showcase features some of the best new works by established and emerging area choreographers. Top billing goes to 2018 New Releases Commission recipient Jamal Abrams and his new work meeting blue, an autobiographical solo focused on trauma — how to interrupt, accept, cleanse, then redirect into healing. The program also features: Kasi Aysola of the Bhanta Natyam-focused Prakriti Dance, performing Thillana; Da’Shown Rawls of RawArts Dance Company with Tie Me with Your Eyes, about the aftereffects of taking care of someone with schizophrenia; Bre Seals of The BREathe Dance Project and How We Got to Now; Robert Woofter of haus of bambi, a local movement-based company that produces “genderless and gendermore fantasies for stage and screen,” including the short film ayo sis, exploring queer worldmaking via euphoria and fantasy; and the duo Samantha Sobash and Lauren Sotolongo with Forbidden Fruit, a collaborative, multimedia performance. Saturday, May 18, at 8 p.m. Dance Place, 3225 Eighth St. NE. Tickets are $15 to $30. Call 202-269-1600 or visit


The Atlas Performing Arts Center presents a contemporary dance company performing three new works all focused on fantasy and inspired by the classical literary beginning, “It was a dark and stormy night…” An eclectic cast of dancers from area classical and contemporary dance companies will perform a mix of ballet, ballroom, and modern dance depicting fantastical scenes of romantic, comedic, and dreamy characters based on works by Edgar Allan Poe, Federico G. Lorca, and Hans Reudi Giger. Sunday, May 19, at 7:30 p.m. Lang Theatre, 1333 H St. NE. Tickets are $25. Call 202-399-7993 or visit


The D.C.-based all-volunteer Indian classical ensemble music and dance ensemble, led by Rishi Das, explores the classical melodies and movements from the Indian Film Industry beyond the obvious aspects from Bollywood and today’s pop culture. Saturday, May 18, at 7 p.m., and Sunday, May 19, at 4 p.m. Joe’s Movement Emporium, 3309 Bunker Hill Road, Mount Rainier, Md. Tickets are $17 to $28. Call 301-699-1819 or visit

Jeffrey Ernstoff



Maryland-based presenting organization Improbable Comedy offers another showcase of talent from our own backyard, this time a celebration of female comics. Chanel Ali, Eryca Nolan, Michele Sometimes, Yasmin Elhady, and Abby Mello are part of the all-ladies lineup at the May show, which will also feature giveaways and beer from Silver Spring’s women- and LGBTQ-owned Denizens brewing. Saturday, May 18, at 8 p.m. Silver Spring Black Box Theatre, 8641 Colesville Road. Tickets are $20 to $25. Call 301-351-2096 or visit


A jazz comedian who is also the former creative director of Radio City Music Hall offers a night of comical insider stories along with music in the one-man show Exactly 67 Minutes with an Unstable American Musician. The anecdotes range from working on Super Bowl Halftime shows with Michael Jackson and Gloria Estefan to off-the-wall gigs with many of the greatest jazz players in the world. Sunday, May 19, at 2 p.m. Drafthouse Comedy, 1100 13th St. NW. Tickets are $20 to $25. Call 202-750-6411 or visit

Pod Tours America



Crooked Media presents another live showcase of its politically minded, progressive-bent podcast network featuring a quartet of funnymen, all former Obama White House staffers. The lineup includes Dan Pfeiffer as well as the three co-founders of Crooked Media: Tommy Vietor, Jon Favreau, and Jon Lovett, the gay host of the hysterical podcast Lovett or Leave It. Expect, “A live, no-bullshit conversation about politics, the press, and the challenges posed by the Trump presidency.” Sunday, May 19. Doors at 5:30 p.m. The Anthem, 901 Wharf St. SW. Tickets are $35 to $125. Call 202-888-0020 or visit



The Colombian-American artist Mayorga spurred development of this multimedia project after a year of artistic investigation on issues of home and homelessness — colored by the artist’s infatuation with a certain red hue. By applying the pigment to new works of her own as well as others from the permanent collection of the Organization of American States’ Art Museum of the Americas, Mayorga offers her bicultural interpretations of those living in exile, displacement, dislocation, relocation, and eviction. The artist puts a “pink” spin on works by Ignacio Iturria, Eduardo Giusiano, Ricardo Supisiche, Rubens Gerchman, Amelia Peláez, Consuelo Gotay, Dora Ramírez, Roser Muntañola, and Roberto Matta. To May 19. 201 18th St. NW. Call 202-370-0147 or visit


ArTecHouse celebrates spring and women in the arts and sciences with its annual cherry blossom-inspired exhibition featuring five interactive and immersive digital art installations inspired by the beautiful yet fleeting blossoms and all from women artists or women-led collectives. The Main Gallery features Hana Fubuki, Akiko Yamashita’s immersive installation developed with Sachiko Yamashita and Mikitype combining the woodblock print techniques of traditional Ukiyo-e art with 3D animations and interactive technology bringing the landscape to life. Secondary galleries are set up with Lisa Park’s Blooming, powered by biometric sensors, Scenocosme’s Akousmaflore an interactive small garden composed of living musical plants that react to gentle contact by producing specific sounds, and Design Foundry’s Enchanted Garden (2019), composed of a mix of natural and recycled artistic mediums to serve as a respite. And as ever, the Mezzanine Bar becomes an AR Cocktail Bar with II Sakaba, serving blossom-inspired, AR-enhanced cocktails and mocktails. To May 27. ArTecHouse, 1238 Maryland Ave. SW. Tickets range from $8 to $20. visit


The Brewster Kaleidoscope Society returns to the Mansion at Strathmore with another juried exhibition showcasing the enchantment as well as the diversity of kaleidoscopes. Artists from around the world display custom-made kaleidoscopes or kaleidoscope-inspired works, varying in size from standalone sculptures to handheld and exquisite pieces of jewelry — but all of them employing “the magic of mirrors” to create a continually changing and endless display of two- and three-dimensional images. Through May 26. 10701 Rockville Pike, North Bethesda. Call 301-581-5100 or visit


Zadravec’s colored pencil portraits capture both the human expressions of her subjects as well as their momentary spirit, rending texture and light with precision while maintaining a whisper of the pencil stroke to remind viewers of the artist’s hand. To May 26. Invitational Gallery, 10701 Rockville Pike, North Bethesda. Call 301-581-5100 or visit


An unconventional spin on Pyramid Atlantic’s annual juried show, Mash Up is completely uncurated, allowing member artists to exhibit works of their choice provided they abide by the only restriction: that they are not larger than 30 inches on any side. Over 80 artists, or about one third of the organization’s membership, responded, and the resulting show lives up to its title, offering a blend of styles, mediums, and price points, with all works “hung riotously” throughout the gallery. Prizes and bragging rights will be granted to works deemed “Founder’s Choice,” “Craftsmanship,” and “The Popular Vote.” To May 26. 4318 Gallatin St., Hyattsville, Md. Call 301-608-9101 or visit


This year’s month of programming celebrating D.C.’s transgender community, launched by Trans Pride founder SaVanna Wanzer, introduces an exhibition featuring 30 pieces of art from a diverse and talented group of 15 area artists identifying as transgender, non-binary, genderfluid, Two-Spirit, and/or agender. Westminster Presbyterian in Southwest D.C. hosts a show featuring: Alex Ramirez, Ameirah Neal, Autumn Towne, Dorian Blue, Edith Flores, Kay Wrenn, Sir Max Even, Molly Stratton, Nona Conner, Star Bennett from Check It Enterprises, and Zayn Thiam, plus Ahanu, Alexa Elizabeth Rodriguez, Kariwase Duprey, and Xemi Tapepechul from the Nelwat Ishkamewe Two-Spirit Art Collective. To June 14. 400 I St. SW. Call 202-484-7700 or visit


One of the most popular artists regularly presented by LGBTQ-run Long View Gallery, this Chicago-based lesbian artist creates large, hanging-wood sculptures made from reclaimed wood, often found in dumpsters and back alleys in revitalizing urban neighborhoods. To May 26. 1234 9th St. NW. Call 202-232-4788 or visit


A few memorable photos that you may remember from covers of this very magazine — Jim Graham as Elizabeth Taylor’s Cleopatra, say, or the infamous Leather Kewpie for MAL — will be on display as part of the latest exhibition at the DC Center for the LGBT Community, all from Franson, Metro Weekly‘s central portrait photographer for most of the past 23 years as well as the magazine’s longest-serving Art Director. Yet the focus is on artworks the professional photographer and graphic designer has created for other projects and pursuits, all of which are available for sale. The exhibition goes as far back as Franson’s days as a student at the Savannah College of Art and Design, with four stylized gloves from the series Wear & Tear: Inspired by Irving Penn, newly reborn and printed on aluminum. A more recent passion of Franson’s has been capturing artistic shots of foliage, blooms, and landscapes at the National Arboretum. And then there are the dazzling and quirky photographs that come closest to conveying Franson’s personal sensibility — perhaps none more so than Dancing Bear, a vividly colored image of a bustling amusement park at dusk foregrounded by a giant-sized teddy bear wearing a propeller beanie. Ongoing. The Center Arts Gallery, 2000 14th St. NW. Call 202-682-2245 or visit


The Phillips Collection presents the first museum retrospective of this queer nonagenarian, showcasing the Cuban-born, Puerto Rican-based artist’s prolific yet largely unknown career through 60 works, including paintings, design sketches, illustrations, and sculptures. The exhibition includes many examples of Sánchez’s works on shaped canvas, often featuring recurring motifs, that evoke female body parts or feminine symbols, from pointed breasts and rounded torsos to the moon and mythological heroines. The exhibition title refers to Sánchez’s artistic individuality and independence — and in particular, the influence her sexuality and femininity has on her work — and how distinctly different it is compared to the male-dominated and male gaze-oriented work of her contemporaries, perhaps none more so than Pablo Picasso. To May 19. 1600 21st St. NW. Tickets are $12. Call 202-387-2151 x247 or visit

Hank’s Oysterfest — Photo: Rey Lopez



“We wanted to do something for the community to bring people together,” Hank’s founder Jamie Leeds says about the origins of Oyster Fest, now in its 12th year at her original Dupont Circle location. “We thought we’d provide all-you-can-eat oysters, drink beer and just have a good time.” And it has become such a draw, the prospect of consuming copious amounts of premium draft beer and boozy beverages — everything from Hank’s Hops from Atlas Brewery to vodka spritzes to bubbly — plus fresh, fried and BBQ’d bivalves, popcorn shrimp and Old Bay fries, the line starts forming at breakfast and doesn’t let up until hours into the whole shucking sensation. And because this year’s event falls on the restaurant’s 14th anniversary, expect it to be even more of a, well, cluster-shuck. Saturday, May 18, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. 1624 Q St. NW. Tickets are $135 for all-you-can-eat oysters and draft beer. Call 202-462-4265 or visit



The liberal bulwark the American Civil Liberties Union is readying an interactive exhibition that will travel around the country next year, marking the centennial of the organization’s founding. The #ACLU100 pop-up debut launches this weekend a block from the Gallery Place/Chinatown Metro stop. The exhibition features interactive experiences allowing visitors to engage in and explore some of the hot-button civil liberties battles that are at the heart of the organization, ranging from mass incarceration to immigration to voting rights. One highlight to come this Saturday, May 18, is a discussion spotlighting civil rights activists who have been denied their rights, presented as a learning opportunity for attendees. On Sunday, May 19, comes a panel discussion titled “The Power of the First Amendment in the Fight for Justice” with activists Rev. Grayland Hagler and Alexis McKenney and First Amendment expert Lee Rowland. There will also be musical performances throughout from D.C.’s Afro-Brazilian all-women percussion band Batalá, musician Michelle Blackwell, the Chuck Brown Band, Eastern High School Marching Band, and DJ Chandni. All that, plus free scoops of ice cream on Saturday, May 18, from official co-sponsor Ben & Jerry’s — while supplies last, that is (which won’t be long). Friday, May 17, and Saturday, May 18, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Sunday, May 19, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. 700 F St. NW. Tickets are free, but RSVP requested. Visit

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